community education is at the core of BDF’s overall mission. There is
compelling evidence of the enormous literacy crisis for children of poverty,
which continues to be a major problem in New Orleans eight years after
Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. A 2011 community survey conducted by the U.S.
Census Bureau reported that 42% of New Orleans children under the age of 18
live in poverty. This far exceeds the national rate of 22%. Findings from
studies examining the link between socioeconomic and school readiness have
largely concluded that children living in poverty arrive at kindergarten 18
months behind their middle-class peers, and that children who start school with
a disadvantage are unlikely to catch up to their classmates unless high quality
early educational and developmental intervention programs are made available.
BDF is working to address this need for quality early education and public
education for children currently living in households at or below poverty.
The education pipeline: Educare New
Orleans and KIPP Believe
Beginning at infancy – Educare New
Young children who experience the world as predictable and
supportive develop strong emotional foundations essential for learning. The
Educare model draws from a wide range of research-based practices that foster
learning environments that support infants, toddlers and young children who are
growing up in stressful, impoverished communities. Research shows that
vocabulary growth among children from low-income homes lags behind that of
their middle-income peers. Without intentional intervention, this gap, which is
evident at 18 months of age, only continues to widen.
Family involvement in their children’s development is
central to an Educare School’s mission. Activities and interactions are aimed
at strengthening parents’ abilities to serve as champions for their child’s
learning after they leave Educare and enter primary and secondary schools. At
Educare Schools, teachers work with children – beginning in infancy and through
preschool – and their parents to develop pre-literacy and early math skills
such as letter and number recognition, problem solving, and counting. Equal
emphasis is given to developing social-emotional skills: the ability to focus
on a task, persistence, impulse control and cooperation with peers.
Full-time social workers and various consultants (e.g.,
speech pathologists, nurses, visiting artists) provide additional support to
each family. Teachers and social workers regularly review and evaluate their
success in helping children grow and learn, and adjust practices accordingly.
A unique component of the Educare model is the practice of
continuity of care. Each child stays with the same team of teachers from birth
to age 3. Children then move into a preschool classroom for students ages 3 to
5 with a different team of teachers. This continuity creates close bonds among
children, teachers and parents, reinforcing the stable relationships essential
"To and Through” college – KIPP New
Orleans Schools, KIPP Believe at Columbia Parc
KIPP New Orleans Schools is building a high quality,
sustainable network of tuition free, open enrollment, college preparatory
public charter schools that empowers students with the knowledge and skills
necessary to succeed in school and life. Students are accepted regardless of
prior academic record, conduct or socioeconomic background. KIPP schools are
public charter schools that operate in accordance with a license agreement with
the national KIPP Foundation, but are fully governed locally by a group of
The KIPP Through College (KTC) program is an essential part
of the KIPP education. The goal of KTC is to provide ongoing academic and
organizational support to empower all KIPP alumni to achieve success in high
school, in college, and also as they transition into the competitive
From KIPP’s inception, college graduation has been its
"north star.” When students choose KIPP, they are choosing a commitment to
academic excellence and perseverance no matter the obstacles, and in return,
KIPP promises to support each student through the rigorous journey of getting to
and through college. KIPP believes that its students can and will have the
option to graduate from 2-year and 4-year institutions and is dedicated to
providing the resources necessary to ensure they persist in climbing the
mountain to and through college.
In middle school, the KIPP Through College (KTC) program
begins by advising KNOS students and their families throughout the high school
transition process. In high school, KNOS students and alumni receive support
from College Advisors in the following areas: academic advising, standardized
test preparation, summer program support, college tours, college admissions and
application assistance, scholarships, and financial literacy. College Advisors
guide alumni to matriculate to "the right match” college by complementing the
support they receive at their high schools.
Community Support Services
Founded in 1896, Kingsley House is
nationally renowned as the oldest Settlement House in the South. For more than
115 year, Kingsley House has provided children, adults, elderly and families
throughout the greater New Orleans area with a comprehensive continuum of
innovative and creative programs and services. Kingsley House’s mission,
"Kingsley House educates children, strengthens families and builds community,"
is the driving force, which remains even more vital in the aftermath of the
Hurricanes, the BP Oil Spill and the current economic challenges.
Kingsley House’s role within the Bayou District footprint is two-fold –
1. Kingsley House provides the
on-site community support services for the residents of Columbia Parc. They
were originally charged with connecting with the former St. Bernard Project
residents to determine their current status and if interested in returning,
providing resources and support to ensure a successful transition into Columbia
2. Kingsley House is the managing
partner of the Educare of New Orleans early learning facility. They have
assisted in developing and implementing two temporary sites for 80 pre-K
children. These children transitioned into the Educare New Orleans facility
when it opened in 2013.